Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C Is For Soda Pop

We’re up to C already???!!! All right! This ought to be a piece of cake!

No, today’s topic is not cake. However, we will be discussing another important source of nutrients for good health — soda pop! What? Doesn’t begin with C? OK. How about cola?

If you were like me when you were a kid, you probably had your share of candy, pop, chips, and all sorts of other junk food. It’s amazing that I made it through childhood considering all the garbage I ate. At the very least you’d think my teeth would be rotted to hell. In fact, they’re only rotted to heck.

I would love to have some idea of the quantity of this sugary, empty-caloried “food” I’ve eaten — either in number of items or total poundage. It might even surpass the quantity of beer I’ve consumed as an adult (actually, I really doubt that).

Jawbreakers, pixy stix, chocolate bars, bubble gum, candy necklaces, licorice pipes, goo goo bars (that sounds like a Chinese food menu item), gummi worms (ewww), jelly beans, jujubes, marshmallow cones, suckers, Popeye brand candy cigarettes, Cracker Jacks, Pop Rocks, taffy, toffee, Coffee Crisp, and waxed candies (which included these gigantic nasty looking thumbs that were filled with colored liquid sugar); if it was available at the corner store in the ‘60s, then I’ve probably had it.

Here’s a good website that will make your teeth hurt by just visiting it.

Today I pretty well eschew (which means “don't chew”) all candy and sweets. I do partake in a can of cola every now and then. But I’m more likely to drink diet pop in order to make more caloric room for beer.

Coca-Cola — the pause that refreshes; the drink that will remove rust from the bumper of your old Ford; the soda that will dissolve a juicy t-bone steak; the beverage that when taken with aspirin will make you higher than a Tibetan monk; the pop with cocaine, the cola that will eat a hole right through your stomach!

I come from a family of die-hard Coke fans. Anyone found drinking a Pepsi in our house would have been as welcome as Sarah Palin at a Mensa meeting. My youngest brother in particular was a real Cocaholic. I swear he existed on nothing but that cola for three years. So we felt it was our duty as Coke lovers to separate cola fact from cola fiction.

It was in the early ‘70s when I had already tried smoking banana peel shavings to no effect. Thus, I was already a veteran of cheap-high experimentation and was eager to try the Coke and aspirin. My best friend watched with trepidation (he was sure this was going to turn me into a drooling maniac). But after a couple of hours, the only noticeable effects were a lessening of a mild headache I’d had that day, and some thirst relief.

My father was the one to dispel the drink’s meat-dissolving myth. He put a strip of bacon in a bottle of Coke and re-capped it. After several days, the bacon looked remarkably healthy. The Coke however had lost all its color and fizz (presumably, the bacon had somehow absorbed the coloring and effervescence from the soda). The cola was ruined and went promptly down the drain. And we can’t be blamed for throwing away the strip of bacon as well.

Speaking of my father, he used to sing us this strange little song from his youth. Due to the fact that this is not an adults-only blog, and the song has foul language, I have to use asterisks  —  a LOT of asterisks. You’re just going to have to use your dirtiest imagination to figure out all the lyrics:

Coca-Cola pig’s *******-a
Someone **** on my Victrola
****, ****, **********, ****
Forty *******s tied in a knot.

The cocaine rumor is false, although an original formula actually had a few milligrams of cocaine per glass. I wonder if anyone tried to snort Coca-Cola back then. Youch! Most of us know how much it can hurt when you just get one of those carbonated beverage burps that goes right up the nose!

As far as the hole in the stomach myth goes, I can tell you that my tummy is still intact. I don’t know how many times I’ve had a lunch of fried pepperonis washed down with a can of Coke and suffered no ill effects. Of course, I did this too as a relatively young man. I wouldn’t try it now without a family-sized bottle of industrial-strength Tums nearby.

I invite you to try the bumper-rust removal test yourself. Buy a large bottle of Coke, go to a junkyard, find an old 1970 Ford Maverick (maybe my old 1970 Ford Maverick), and get busy.

But be careful! Wear rubber gloves. That Coca-Cola is murder on human skin.


  1. No Coke! Pepsi!
    Sorry, I had to say it.

    1. That's OK. Even Cott Cola has its devotees. And I'll admit this (at the risk of being shunned by the family) there was a time when I preferred Pepsi.

  2. LOL I like how on your dad's little song, the one whole line is ***. I have some dirty minded friends I should show that too and see what they come up w/. As for me, I like Coke, but my preferred carbonated beverage of choice is Mt Dew. Unless cake vodka is involved, then I'd like coke cuz that mixes well.

    1. Thanks for the comments Patricia. Coke mixes well with almost any alcohol. For that matter so does Mountain Dew. Even that beverage named after a spicy physician is OK as a mixer.

  3. C is for another clever (and hilarious) post! Coke was huge in my family as well. My mother was the biggest fan - to the point she'd hide the case of coke so my older brother wouldn't drink it all. Speaking of my mother, she had a funny saying for when she was REALLY thirsty - she'd say "I'm so thirsty my tongue's hanging out". I also loved all of that candy when I was a kid. Much to my chagrin my brother nicknamed me "candy-eater". It doesn't sound too aggressive but the way he said it with such a teasing tone it used to make me cry! Silly me. He could say it all he wants now - it'd just encourage me to go out and get myself a Wig-Wag!

    1. I said that I'd tried just about every candy or chocolate bar and then you mention one I hadn't even heard of — WigWag. Wonder if they're still available?

    2. I haven't seen one in years. Soft toffee braided and then covered in chocolate. It was quite delicious. As a kid I looked forward to being an adult just because I thought I'd fill my house with candy and eat it whenever I wanted. But, like you, I save those extra calories for more important things like beer and whisky. :)